1 October 2019
UN Climate Summit Sees USD 790 Million in Pledges for Small Farmers
Photo Credit: PeopleImages/iStock
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The pledges come from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, the European Commission, and the Governments of the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and Germany.

The commitments are part of the Global Commission on Adaptation’s Action Track to advance adaptation for agriculture and food security.

23 September 2019: At the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, a coalition of donors, aid institutions and philanthropies pledged more than USD 790 million to help 300 million smallholder farmers in developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. The commitment, of which USD 765 million will be delivered through the CGIAR System Organization, follows a recently released flagship report from the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), which calls for global leadership to accelerate adaptation.

The announcement came from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, the UK, the Netherlands, the European Commission, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany.

The GCA report, issued ahead of the Summit, presented a detailed action plan for tackling climate threats to agriculture and food security, and a recommendation to double the scale of agricultural research through the CGIAR System. The publication found that investing in adaptation can yield robust economic, environmental and social benefits. The commitments are part of GCA’s Action Track to advance adaptation for agriculture and food security.

Bill Gates, Co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, explained that his foundation’s USD 310 million pledge represents a “down payment” aimed at supporting the goal of doubling the funding for CGIAR research to “fully equip” the organization to respond to farmers’ climate challenges.

Specifically, the financial resources will support the CGIAR in developing innovations that will help smallholder farmers improve their livelihoods and build resilience in the face of climate change.

The CGIAR hosts the world’s largest network of crop breeders focused exclusively on the needs of poor farmers. The organization is pioneering the development of a new generation of food crops that can endure drought, floods, higher temperatures and soils tainted with salt from rising seas. CGIAR’s 15 Research Centers are also working as a single unit under its flagship Two Degree Initiative for Food and Agriculture. The Two Degree Initiative is helping small-scale food producers adapt their farming systems, livelihoods and landscapes to weather extremes and embrace production practices that lower emissions.

Additional initiatives under GCA’s Agriculture and Food Security track include:

  • expanding access to climate-related digital advisory services for at least 100 million small-scale producers by 2030;
  • scaling up access for at least 100 million small-scale producers to reach insurance, markets, finance and productive safety nets; and
  • improving access to and use of adaptation technologies and agroecological practices for 100 million small-scale producers.

[CGIAR Press Release] [ICARDA Press Release] [World Resources Institute Press Release] [CGIAR Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Climate Action Summit]

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